I’ve got an eclectic family. There’s everyone from investment bankers to government workers, from ranchers to retirees raising chickens.
We traveled to see the family in Missouri this last week and I got a first class education in chickens from my uncle – quite the entertainment for a city gal like me. Apparently chickens have a lot more personality than I would have guessed. (You’re not gonna believe some of this stuff!)
Interesting chicken facts:
- Perky, happy hens lay an egg almost every day.
It takes about 24 for a hen to make an egg. Who knew? I asked if it was like some of our bodily functions where these
constipated hens felt a certain compulsion to get it out of them and relief when it’s done. The answer was that look that says, “Crazy City Girl” followed by “Yeah, I guess so.”
- Moulting chickens go on strike.
Yep, apparently when the cluckers lose their feathers, they go on strike. As in, they can’t lay any eggs when they’re bald. (I’ve got friends like that.)
Apparently, there’s still some eggs laid but production goes down by at least 50%. My uncle has 125 hens and usually they lay about 60-70 eggs per day. During moulting time, it’ll be more like 30-40. I had no idea hens were so prissy about their “hair.”
- Chickens are competitive.
If a chicken walks by a box and there’s an egg in it, they want to lay an egg there too. Sort of like dogs trying to be the top peeing pooch on a tree. (Except for the dirty, smelly, peck-my-hand part, I was LOVING chickens at this point.)
- Girl chickens can “take care of bidness” without a man.
Hens don’t need a rooster to lay an egg. (See how we’re back to the bodily function comparison?) They only need a rooster if they want to make a chick.
- Brown eggs don’t live up to the hype
- All the health nuts running around in search of brown eggs are just burning up calories. There’s no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs. It should be noted that the eggs from the Black Copper Maran chickens are very sought after, particularly by French chefs – apparently, they provide unparalleled texture when baking. Those Black Copper Maran hens lay some smooth, smooth eggs. I’m referring to them as the “Barry White of Chickens” from now on. 🙂
- The color of the egg shell depends on the color of the chicken.
The chickens with brown feathers lay brown eggs. Those who lay green eggs (the Americana chickens for example) have some feathers of that shade. Sort of like matching their purse and their shoes.
- Chickens do gang bangs.
Yup, I about died over this one too. Apparently, those roosters are raping and pillaging little pirates. They’ll line up 3-4 deep to hump a hen. The worst part is, they hang on to the poor biddies combs (that’s the red thing on their heads) with their beaks. Basically, those caveman roosters are yanking their chicken’s hair. (How rude.)
My uncle had to get rid of some of the roosters because the hens stopped laying after all that “laying.” After the line of roosters working ‘em over, those hens wouldn’t lay eggs. Who can blame them, I say. After all that abuse, they just need to go sleep it off in a quiet coop.
So, there you have it. The chicken facts of life as I learned them. All that education put a different spin on an egg for me, and I surely have more respect for hens at this point.
We have some hoppin’ coffee talk in our clan, huh?
What about you? What’s the strangest job (to you) performed by your friends and family members? Do you enjoy your family visits? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!
#1 – Naked Editor (Tiffany) gave me the name of her winner from last Tuesday’s post on Voice – it is none other than Lena Corazon (aka Jamila Jamison for all who missed that change). Give it up for Lena!!! She has won a seat in Tiffany’s October class for commenting. 🙂
#2 – If any of you missed Friday’s Life List Club Milestone party, you might not know about the cool prizes. Right here on More Cowbell, I’m giving away TWO – one to a commenter and one to a subscriber – between now and the end of September. Details can be found here.
Remember, Naked Editor is back this coming Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) with the results of the Dirty Fighting Contest!!